Rene Char--French


Rene Char

Born in the region of Provence, France in 1907, Char participated for a short time in the surrealist movement, and published with Breton and Eluard, Ralentir Travaux. He became involved with the Spanish Civil War, and in 1940 joined the French Resistance. His writing was deeply affected by the war, and provided him many themes. He was extremely moved by psychological, as well as human suffering. After the war he committed himself to reaching “a high degree of poetic strictness.” Towards the end of his life he became very involved with environmental issues, and became an ardent critic of the French nuclear energy project. He died in Paris in 1988.


The Violent Rose

Eye in a trance silent mirror
As I approach I depart
Buoy in the battlements

Head against head to forget all
Until the shoulder butts the heart
The violent Rose
Of ruined and transcendent lovers.